Keystone – Your Monumental Playground! | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Keystone – Your Monumental Playground!

  • Keystone – Your Monumental Playground!

Keystone, South Dakota is the ultimate destination for all ages. It serves as the gateway to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial, an attraction that leaves visitors awestruck. The picturesque hiking trails in and around Keystone cater to all skill levels, while family-friendly attractions appeal to visitors of all ages, ranging from adrenaline-inducing activities to laid-back gold panning.

For foodies, Keystone has a diverse range of local restaurants that offer a tantalizing array of cuisines. A leisurely stroll along Main Street is an opportunity to explore art galleries, souvenir stores, and unique shops. Watching the patriotic Mount Rushmore lighting ceremony is a must-see. A stop in Keystone can help visitors discover endless possibilities for adventure and joy in the company of friends and loved ones.

Here are some local flavors to help you plan a monumental itinerary.


Downtown Keystone offers a range of attractions, including the Visitor Center's walking tour, Ruby House for food and entertainment on the Keystone Boardwalk with plenty of shopping opportunities. Not far away is the unique coffin-shaped Keystone Cemetery with views of Mount Rushmore.

  • Visitor Center: Pick up a walking tour brochure and learn about the history of Keystone and the surrounding area.
  • Ruby House: Enjoy delicious lunches and dinners and catch one of the “shoot-outs” in the Red Garter Saloon next door.
  • Keystone Cemetery: Visit this unique cemetery that's laid-out in the shape of a coffin and rests with a view of Mount Rushmore.
  • Keystone Boardwalk: Stroll along the boardwalk, shop for gifts, and have an old-time photo taken.


Experience the history of mining with a tour of a once working mine, try panning for gold, watch art come to life through glassblowing, enjoy a variety of outdoor activities from a scenic chairlift to a mountain coaster. Discover whay Keystone is known as "The Playground of the Black Hills".

  • Big Thunder Gold Mine: Celebrating their 60th Anniversary, enjoy a tour of the mine, learn about the mining history, and try your hand at searching for gold on a claim tour.
  • Black Hills Glass Blowers: Watch artisans blow and tool hot glass into beautiful pieces of art, shop for unique art glass and figurines, and learn about the process.
  • Rushmore Tramway Adventures: Scenic Chair Lift, Alpine Slide, Aerial Park, Tubing Hill, Pinnacle Zip Tour, and gardens at George's Grill.
  • Rush Mountain Adventure Park: Rushmore Cave guided tour, Soaring Eagle Zipride, Gunslinger 7D interactive ride, Rushmore Mountain Coaster, and Wingwalker Challenge Course.

Scenic Drives & Parks

Three beautiful scenic drives start in Keystone that showcase unique pigtail bridges, stunning rock formations, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

  • Iron Mountain Road - A scenic drive with unique pigtail bridges and tunnels framing Mount Rushmore.
  • Custer State Park - A wildlife loop where you can see buffalo, prairie dogs, and friendly burros. You can also take a trail ride at the Blue Bell Stables.
  • Needles Highway - A National Scenic Byway known for its stunning scenery, unique rock formations, and tunnels.

All Things Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial offers guests an unforgettable experience with a variety of things to see and do. Take a self-guided tour of the monument and witness breathtaking views of this national treasure. In the evenings, a lighting ceremony is held to honor the history and significance of the monument. Complete your visit with a delicious meal at Carver's Cafe, featuring locally sourced food, and indulge in Thomas Jefferson's famous vanilla ice cream recipe. At the Rushmore Borglum Story museum, you'll discover the works of Gutzon and his son, Lincoln Borglum, the talented sculptors responsible for the creation of the monument and so much more.


Indulge in the delectable taste of the wild game, cooked to perfection, and seasoned with local ingredients that will leave your taste buds craving for more! Or, sink your teeth into succulent prime rib that melts in your mouth, prepared with the utmost expertise. Satisfy your appetite for dining in downtown Keystone.

  • Carver’s Café at Mount Rushmore - A newly remodeled restaurant with a selection of locally sourced food, fudge, and Thomas Jefferson’s own recipe for vanilla ice cream.
  • Big Thunder Family Bar & Grille: Refuel and dine on expertly prepared wild game.
  • Powder House Restaurant - Once  the location for storing powder for the miners - Now a cozy restaurant known for its excellent prime rib.

Keystone offers boundless opportunities for excitement and happiness, making it an ideal destination to forge indelible memories with cherished companions.

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